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Eye Diseases - Cataracts

Our eyesight is something many of us take for granted particularly when we are young. However, when our eyes are afflicted by disease it can become a serious and indeed a frightening experience. In the majority of cases, the more informed one becomes when it comes to finding out about the most appropriate treatment the better the outcome will be. One of the most commonly experienced diseases is cataracts.

What are Cataracts?
A cataract is the clouding of the lens blocking out the progress of light onto the retina, leading to hampered vision. The cataract worsens with age as protein builds up in the eye, clouding the lenses. There are three different kinds of cataracts. Sub-capsular cataracts occur at the rear of the eye’s lens and are usually caused by diabetes or as a result of the use of steroids. Diabetics and the elderly can also develop cortical cataracts which develop in the cortex of the lens. However, the most common type of cataract is the nuclear cataract, which forms inside the nucleus of the eye and is visible to the patient as ageing sets in.

How do I know if I have a cataract?
With a nuclear cataract you may notice a slight blurring when focusing. You may experience a greater glare than in the past, especially at night time. Some sufferers may develop a temporary improvement in their sight but this will deteriorate again sooner or later as the cataract develops.

How can cataracts be dealt with?
Ultimately, the only way to deal with cataracts is through surgery and the removal of the lens. The occluded lens must be removed and an intraocular lens inserted in its stead through a routine surgical operation. In most cases cataract sufferers who receive intraocular lenses often recover high grade sight capacity to a degree of 20/20 vision or indeed 20/40 vision. Rejection of intraocular lenses occurs rarely and is treatable thanks to the latest of medical techniques.